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Gender Implications of the teaching of Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) for health promoting schools

Abstract : The introduction of Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) in Irish schools arose from awareness of the growing need to address pressures on young people specific to their attitudes and decision making on relationships and sexuality. RSE has been successfully implemented since 1995. However, it has become the preserve of female teachers with fewer male teachers attending in-service. Similar gender disparity exists in the teaching of Social and Personal Health Education.The aim of the research was to explore the attitudes, beliefs and needs of male post-primary teachers in regard to RSE in the context of the school. A qualitative design was employed. Focus groups were chosen as the primary means of data gathering. A total of 25 male post-primary teachers took part in five focus groups. Two of the groups consisted of men who had participated in RSE training, the other three groups were made up of men who had not.The analysis of the data suggested that there was reluctance on the part of male teachers to teach RSE, and that this arose from anxiety about the risk to their personal and professional identity. They felt under threat both from internal personal forces, in the form of mental models assimilated through personal history and upbringing, and from external organisational forces, communicated through the local school and wider social culture.The data indicate the need for professional development and support that is tailored for male teachers. In order to support male teachers and the teaching of health curricula, pre-service education needs to focus on gender role and identity.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 4:59:34 PM
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  • HAL Id : hal-01084650, version 1



Patricia Mannix Mcnamara, Tom Geary, Didier Jourdan. Gender Implications of the teaching of Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) for health promoting schools. Better Schools through Health: 3rd European Conference on Health Promoting Schools, Jun 2009, Vilnius, Lithuania. ⟨hal-01084650⟩



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